A federal judge in Montana has halted the implementation of the SB 419 Law, approved in May, by the state’s Governor. This law was set to go into effect on January 1, 2024, aiming to restrict the TikTok video service. However, the judge intervened, citing concerns about its constitutionality.
Constitutional Concerns Raised
Judge Donald Molloy remarked that Montana’s legislative body and Attorney General seemed more focused on China’s perceived role in TikTok than safeguarding consumer rights. He highlighted that another law, aimed at protecting digital data and user privacy, was separately adopted by the same legislative body, casting doubt on SB 419’s true motives.
Reactions and Legal Standing
TikTok’s representative expressed contentment with the rejection of the “unconstitutional” law, emphasizing the freedom for Montana’s residents to express themselves on the platform. Conversely, Montana’s Attorney General office labeled the judge’s decision as “preliminary” and hinted at defending the law, citing it as essential for shielding residents from potential data exploitation by the Chinese Communist Party.
Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, previously sued Montana for attempting an illegal ban, reminds NIXsolutions. To alleviate data security concerns, TikTok initiated Project Texas, a $1.5 billion program utilizing Oracle services to localize data, aiming to ensure data privacy for U.S. users and dispel any apprehensions of data transfer to China.